The Golden Globes have always been an interesting awards show, combining both TV and film into one ceremony, while also making delineations between dramatic films vs. comedies. People also focus a lot of their attention on the ceremony, as winning films and performances often act as precursors of what we can expect of the Academy Awards.
Film fans begin talking about awards frontrunners practically the day after one ceremony ends, but the competition doesn't really heat up until the end of the year. It's no surprise to see films like Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight earning so many nominations, as they've been the buzz of the film world since their premieres, but there are definitely a few nominations this year that no one expected. This isn't to say those nominations are bad or undeserved, just ones that no one was expecting.
What were your biggest surprises of the 2016 Golden Globe nominations? Let us know in the comments!
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Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds - Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture/
Wait...so a movie that features a scene where a physically deformed mercenary breaks his hand by punching a mutant who can turn his body into metal in the crotch while exclaiming, "Cock shot!" is considered one of the Best Musical or Comedy Motion Pictures of the year? Well, I don't think anyone saw that coming, but considering Deadpool was one of the biggest box office earners of the year, regardless of subject matter, it's great to see the awards show take note. The film succeeded as strongly as it did thanks to what Reynolds brought to the film, both on camera and behind-the-scenes, so it's only fair that he be considered for Best Actor in Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture. If Reynolds wins, we can only imagine how close the censors will be watching to bleep out anything he might say in honor of the Merc with a Mouth.
Paul Verhoeven's name is synonymous with some of the best action sci-fi films of the '80s (like RoboCop and Total Recall), and some incredibly sexually charged thrillers in the '90s (like Basic Instinct and Showgirls). He has laid low for a few years, but Elle has received much acclaim from various countries, mostly thanks to Isabelle Huppert's performance in the lead role. If it's receiving acclaim, why is this surprising? Well, The Hollywood Reporter called the film "the most empowering 'Rape Movie' ever made" and some circles have dismissed it for its portrayal of rape and the effect it has on a victim. Some have considered it sleazy exploitation, while others gave it a standing ovation at Cannes. Hopefully the challenging subject matter and recognition by the Golden Globe Awards will lead to more discussion about surviving traumatic assault.
Is it surprising that Andrew Garfield was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture? No, not at all. Is it surprising that it was for his performance in Hacksaw Ridge, a movie which may or may not have even come out, considering it didn't really resonate with critics or audiences? Sure is! Martin Scorcese's latest film, Silence, comes out later this year and it is already gaining tons of buzz for the filmmaker and its stars, which include Andrew Garfield. We're sure it's all the same to Garfield, no matter which film earned him the nomination, and it seems as though this confirms that Hacksaw Ridge indeed was a film released this year.
[H/T YouTube/Lionsgate Movies]
Nocturnal Animals is a compelling emotional thriller featuring layered storytelling which uses a fictional crime in a novel to represent trauma that characters went through. The film snagged a nomination for one of the actors in a supporting role, but that nomination didn't go to Michael Shannon, a Texas detective willing to skirt the law in pursuit of justice. Instead, the nomination went to Taylor-Johnson, who played one of the twisted individuals responsible for the film's fictional crimes, who ferociously portrayed the villainous character. The surprise isn't that Taylor-Johnson wasn't great in the film, but, he had to compete with a mustachioed Shannon, who also but in a fantastic performance.
Hell or High Water
Similar to Elle, the surprise of Hell of High Water doesn't come from its inadequacies, but is more of a surprise that it's earned the respect that it deserves and wasn't ignored. The film only grossed $31 million in its limited release, but stars Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, and Chris Pine helped bring this neo-noir western and all of its grit to the forefront of critics' attention, also scoring a nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges) and Best Screenplay.
[H/T YouTube/CBS Films]
Jonah Hill established himself as a great comedic actor with films like Superbad, 21 Jump Street, and This is the End. His talents weren't limited to comedy, as his roles in Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street earned so much praise, he scored Academy Award nominations for his supporting parts in those films. However, very few people walked out of seeing War Dogs and said, "You know what? He's going to be nominated for an award because of that movie!" mostly because very few people walked into that movie in the first place, not even earning $45 million domestically. Good for him, though! Hopefully this means we get to see 100 more Jump Street movies.
This Is Us Defeats Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones has been a force to be reckoned with ever since it premiered, dominating many awards shows with its cast, special effects, and storytelling. However, this year the newcomer This Is Us gave the fantasy epic a run for its money and cumulatively ranked up more nominations than the HBO series. Does this mean the tide has turned and Game of Thrones will descend into mediocrity? Probably not, but it's a testament to This Is Us that it's been able to garner so much praise in the middle of its very first season.
[H/T YouTube/This Is Us]
Another newcomer to the awards circuit is Netflix's Stranger Things, the horror/sci-fi mystery that reminded us why we love Winona Ryder. The actress scored herself a nomination for the role of a mother trying to do everything she can to find her missing son, while the show itself also earned a nomination for Best Drama Series. The surprise is that, even though the show gained a cult following, it's ultimately a show about aliens, interdimensional travel, and junior high, so many critics have dismissed it, but this nomination helps solidify that powerful storytelling can stretch into the world of genre TV.
[H/T YouTube/Danielle Falou]
Thandie Newton might not have been the obvious standout performer from the very first episodes of the show, but over the course of the season, she became an integral player in the Westworld ensemble and has earned many accolades for her role. What's surprising is that, as of the first season's final few episodes, it's clear how major a role Newton's character played in the storyline, but she was nominated for Best Supporting actress when her co-star Evan Rachel Wood snagged a nom for Best Actress. Luckily for Newton, the powerful performance she gave on the HBO series gives her an even better chance at bringing home the award.
Mostly known for his oddball role of Troy on Community and a few theatrical roles, Glover created, stars in, and executive produces Atlanta, an engaging look at the underground rap scene in Atlanta. Many expected the show to follow a purely comedic tone, but the show tackles racism, relationships, drugs, and friendships in intensely dramatic ways. That's not to say the show isn't also hilarious, but it's great to see Glover earn acclaim for a series that feels fresh and incredibly timely.